Microbial fuel cells for simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal

Virdis, Bernardino, Rabaey, Korneel, Yuan, Zhiguo and Keller, Jurg (2008) Microbial fuel cells for simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal. Water Research, 42 12: 3013-3024. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2008.03.017


Author Virdis, Bernardino
Rabaey, Korneel
Yuan, Zhiguo
Keller, Jurg
Title Microbial fuel cells for simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal
Journal name Water Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1354
Publication date 2008-06-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2008.03.017
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 42
Issue 12
Start page 3013
End page 3024
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, UK
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject C1
090409 Wastewater Treatment Processes
Abstract The recent demonstration of cathodic nitrate reduction in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) creates opportunities for a new technology for nitrogen removal from wastewater. A novel process configuration that achieves both carbon and nitrogen removal using MFC is designed and demonstrated. The process involves feeding the ammonium-containing effluent from the carbon-utilising anode to an external biofilm-based aerobic reactor for nitrification, and then feeding the nitrified liquor to the MFC cathode for nitrate reduction. Removal rates up to 2 kg COD m(-3) NCC d(-1) (chemical oxygen demand: COD, net cathodic compartment: NCC) and 0.41 kg NO3--Nm(-3) NCCd-1 were continuously achieved in the anodic and cathodic compartment, respectively, while the MFC was producing a maximum power output of 34.6+/-1.1 W m(-3) NCC and a maximum current of 133.3 +/- 1.0 A m(-3) NCC. In comparison to conventional activated sludge systems, this MFC-based process achieves nitrogen removal with a decreased carbon requirement. A COD/N ratio of approximately 4.5 g COD g(-1) N was achieved, compared to the conventionally required ratio of above 7. We have demonstrated that also nitrite can be used as cathodic electron acceptor. Hence, upon creating a loop concept based on nitrite, a further reduction of the COD/N ratio would be possible. The process is also more energy effective not only due to the energy production coupled with denitrification, but also because of the reduced aeration costs due to minimised aerobic consumption of organic carbon. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Formatted abstract
The recent demonstration of cathodic nitrate reduction in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) creates opportunities for a new technology for nitrogen removal from wastewater. A novel process configuration that achieves both carbon and nitrogen removal using MFC is designed and demonstrated. The process involves feeding the ammonium-containing effluent from the carbon-utilising anode to an external biofilm-based aerobic reactor for nitrification, and then feeding the nitrified liquor to the MFC cathode for nitrate reduction.
Removal rates up to 2 kg COD m−3 NCC d−1 (chemical oxygen demand: COD, net cathodic compartment: NCC) and 0.41 kg NO3-N m−3 NCC d−1 were continuously achieved in the anodic and cathodic compartment, respectively, while the MFC was producing a maximum power output of 34.6±1.1 W m−3 NCC and a maximum current of 133.3±1.0 A m−3 NCC. In comparison to conventional activated sludge systems, this MFC-based process achieves nitrogen removal with a decreased carbon requirement. A COD/N ratio of approximately 4.5 g COD g−1 N was achieved, compared to the conventionally required ratio of above 7. We have demonstrated that also nitrite can be used as cathodic electron acceptor. Hence, upon creating a loop concept based on nitrite, a further reduction of the COD/N ratio would be possible. The process is also more energy effective not only due to the energy production coupled with denitrification, but also because of the reduced aeration costs due to minimised aerobic consumption of organic carbon.
Keyword Biocatalysis
Cathode
Denitrification
Microbial fuel cell
Nitrification
Wastewater
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
 
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